Dear Sheila: Next Steps After Diagnosis

Sheila McKannay


24 September, 2018

Dear Sheila, I’m the only child of a single mom. I’ve always known that when the time comes, it would fall to me to help with her care. That time has come. Mom was just diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve done the paperwork (will, health care directive,...

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Dear Sheila: Thanking the Caregivers

Sheila McKannay


24 July, 2018

Dear Sheila, My dad has been given only a few months to live. Right now he is at home with caregivers and a hospice nurse who are working together to coordinate his care. His doctor says that he may soon need to move to a hospice facility, and if...

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Dear Sheila: Petrified Daughter

Sheila McKannay


25 June, 2018

Dear Sheila, I am the only child of parents who are in their late 70’s and very active. We have never discussed what they want to do as they age; where to live, how much money they have, do they want to be buried or cremated, who will manage...

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Dear Sheila: Make Way for Mom

Sheila McKannay


20 April, 2018

Dear Sheila, Today I got a call from my mother who said, “It’s time for me to move.” I’ve been expecting this call for about a year now – mom is 84 and alone since dad died. Her eyesight is poor, and she can no longer drive, but she...

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Dear Sheila: Not Ready to Move

Sheila McKannay


22 March, 2018

Dear Sheila, My husband and I are what you would call “active seniors.” We live in an “Over 55” community and have many friends with whom we socialize. We audit classes at the community college, attend theater and concerts, exercise, and volunteer. We’re happy and look forward to each...

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Dear Sheila: Sharp Mind in an Old Body

Sheila McKannay


23 February, 2018

Dear Sheila, My mother is 94 and looks 20 years younger. Her mind is sharp, and her memory is better than mine. But her hearing is poor, even with hearing aids, and macular degeneration has all but taken her sight. A fall, 2 years ago, compromised her ability to...

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Dear Sheila: When a Devoted Spouse Dies

Sheila McKannay


25 January, 2018

Dear Sheila, My parents live in a retirement community. My dad has terminal cancer and is under hospice care and I’m worried about how my mom will manage once he passes. They were never very social and had no hobbies or activities. They were devoted to each other and...

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Dear Sheila: Thinking Ahead

Sheila McKannay


15 December, 2017

Dear Sheila, A recent case of the flu turned into pneumonia and my mother had to be hospitalized. She went in with a treatable illness but once there things actually got worse. She was agitated and hallucinating, and even tried to pull the IV lines out of her arm....

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